Load Forecasting Initiative

Load Forecasting Initiative

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Load Forecasting Initiative

Load forecasting is key for many grid decisions across operational and planning timescales. This means that improving the forecasts can lead to improved outcomes, such as more efficient investment decisions and grid performance. However, load forecasting is becoming more complicated due to drivers such as electrification, extreme weather, changing customer behaviors and more. At the same time, these drivers are contributing to increased forecast uncertainty. There is therefore a need to evolve load forecasting and address the critical needs that exist across the industry.

The following three Load Forecasting Initiative workstreams aim to address these critical needs:

  • Industry Coordination
  • Long-Term Forecasting for Planning
  • Short-Term Forecasting for Operations

For more information, please review this overview presentation.

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Workstream 1: Industry Coordination

Workstream 1 will facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration within the industry among utilities, ISOs/RTOs, and other entities. One key output from this Workstream is the formation of a Load Forecasting Interest Group in which participants attend regular webcasts with presentations and discussions on topics of interest. The interest group is free to join for EPRI members. Additionally, this workstream aims to output a survey of long-term load forecasting practices. This survey will help inform forecasters and planners about industry trends and potentially help guide their approaches.

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Workstream 2: Long-Term Forecasting for Planning

Workstream 2 addresses long-term forecasting needs with the development of methodologies and guidance to incorporate new load drivers. A priority of Workstream 2 is the characterization of large point loads and identifying the data and modeling needed to better incorporate these loads in forecasts. Another priority is to close gaps between distribution and transmission forecasts by identifying the gaps and causes, and providing guidance to close those gaps. Other topics like DERs/electrification/end-use technologies, extreme weather, uncertainty, and increased resolution and forecast horizons will also be addressed.

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Workstream 3: Short-Term Forecasting for Operations

Workstream 3 focuses on the development of methodologies and guidance to mitigate changes in short-term forecast accuracy. Some priorities in Workstream 3 include: the evaluation of methods to train models to better incorporate extreme events, assessing which numerical weather prediction (NWP) models to use and when, and the evaluation of how to represent uncertainty and using that to support decision-making. Additional priorities include assessing how DERs and non-conforming loads affect forecast accuracy, assessing how electrification of end-use technologies affect load, and the types of data or modeling changes that can help.

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